fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand us dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +22998688340 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barr Esq Smith Henry" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2009 10:14:27 +0100
Subject: Your Consignment Box
Hello My Dear,
I have paid the fee for your Cheque draft and I took it to the FINANCIAL BANK PLC to confirm it then the Manager of the Bank MR BENARD UGO told me that before the check can get to you it will expire on the way and if it expired it will become useless so He advice me to convert $4.5Million (FOUR MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS) into cash and pack it into the strong iron box and deposited it in UNITED PARCEL SERVICE DELIVERY COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC (UPS) to deliver it in cash to you. and i did it as he advice me because he is a Banker he knows the durability of any foreign check or draft.
I deposited the package in the United Parcel Service Delivery Company as an cotton materials for security reasons. This is the registration Number of your Package UPS/122p/mtm/2009 Zip Code;0113388 so do not let the company to know the real contents of the package so that they can deliver it for you safely. I want you to contact the company immediately with the following informations give them your information but you need to reconfirm it for them again. Below is the required information you need to give them now,
1.YOUR FULL NAME____
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS.____
4.YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER.____
5.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE.____
6.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE____
7.YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT____
All these things is needed from you now to submit to the company for urgent delivery of your package contains $4.5Million US Dollar Please contact the delivery company immediately and reconfirm your info to them to enable their agent locate you when he arrived in your country. This is the company contact information.
Mr. Paul Robert Director General
United Parcel Service (UPS) Delivery Company Benin Republic .
Email:( email@example.com )
Tel Fax Phone; +22998688340
Please contact the company immediately you receive this email so that your package will leave tonight to be deliver to you. Get back to me as soon as you receive your package from the company.
Barr Esq Smith Henry